“So, did you have fun?” My husband always asks when I return from a race. My answer usually is something like, “Well…I finished.” Saturday’s race was HURT’s Mango Madness 10++ miles. And for me, at 46, the point of running is to keep going into my wiser, better years. To finish or drop dead during. (I’ll try not to drop dead during a HURT race, Jeff, Jacque, Freddy, and Melanie.)
I thought about the “fun” question after cleaning up and caffeinating. I like seeing John and PJ first thing when they check me in. I enjoy getting sweaty and dirty with friends. I appreciate the enthusiastic race marshals who smile, ring cow bells, and encourage FOR HOURS. The thoughtfully prepared food and beautiful, hand-crafted medals were heartwarming.
However, going up and down Triple Trek’s lower loop 2-1/2 times and Concrete Road twice is not fun. It is an exercise in grit and perseverance. Zigzagging through cones to the finish line seems almost cruel. This time, after 4+ hours I did not have to zig, but I have zagged to the finish before. One year I put my forehead on a baseball bat handle and spun in a circle before crossing the finish line. Each challenge squeezes a smile out of me!
At home, after hugging my kids and settling down, there is only thankfulness:
- For my health and circumstance that allow me to run,
- For the HURT Ohana who direct and support the races,
- For the Hawaiian trail system that offers so much.
Okay, trail running is pretty fun. But fun is not the right word to describe how I feel afterwards. They are Joy and Gratitude. So I will smile at Freddie when he tells me to go up Pipes again because I am truly happy to be there.
“Every day is a new opportunity to move.”